We were feeling the vibe (and a little gossip too) Thursday night at the OIB party at Taco Loco.
The rain didn’t keep away an eclectic group of OIB friends. Nice to see former Superior Court Judge Carmen Lopez and her husband Judge Dale Radcliffe. Carmen was looking energized despite the Democratic Town Committee dissing her for a spot on the Board of Education. Carmen’s not going away.
Mary-Jane Foster and her hubby Jack McGregor, co-founders of the Bridgeport Bluefish, stopped in, as well as MJ’s UB associate George Estrada, former director of Public Facilities for Bridgeport. I was itching to drop a dime in the phone to persuade Mayor Bill Finch to check out the massive criminal enterprise gathering at Taco Loco. But he was too busy getting his ass kicked by city nurses who’ve been screwed over on their paychecks. Another brilliant move by City Hall.
Black Rock District Leader Danny Roach and wife Bonnie took a break from managing Matty’s bar. Val Sorrentino and Danny were settling City Hall and political matters. Yes, of course, I stuck my ear in for the juicy stuff.
Nice to see former WICC hosts David Smith and Brian Smith exchanging updates. Joel Speedy Gonzalez was bummed. He was prepared for a mega throwdown with big Mojo Ralph Mojica, but Speedy said Mojo wasn’t up to the task. Mojo, you were missed.
The Bridgeport Kid and Tom Kelly were going at it pretty good. I’m usually confused after talking to them anyway. Thanks TK for your DTC coverage. And Anna who was searching around for Yahooy mumbled something about him being delayed at Liberty Rock. Considering the rain I cannot blame Yahooy for taking shelter.
Captain Coviello, aka Charlie Coviello, former mayoral contender added his wisdom about the state of Mayor Finch’s mayoralty. What was that captain … Rudderless ship?
Always nice to see charter OIB blogger MCAT aka Michele Mount. She was chatting with State Senator Anthony Musto about all things legislatively. And Nancy Hadley, former city director of economic development whose letter to legislative leaders set off a mini storm over the status of the Bridgeport Port Authority, had a lively exchange with Anthony about his vote to override the governor’s veto regarding the state’s control over the BPA. I’d call it a draw.
Former State Senator Rob Russo, fresh off his endorsement from Republicans for the BOE, was looking spiffy in pinstripes. Robbie had to duck out early. He’s a married man now.
Ah, the venerable State Senator Ed Gomes was holding court with City Councilman Bob Troll Walsh with the lovely Judith at Troll’s side. The Troll was a tad titillated that hizzoner tried to make a move to derail his endorsement. The Troll is sharpening his teeth.
Thanks to them and a whole bunch more OIB friends that showed up in the rain. A special thank you to the genial Miguel, owner of Taco Loco.
So what’s everyone doing this weekend? Anyone heading over to Seaside Park and the Gathering of the Vibes? Crosby, Stills and Nash the entertainment anchor to a sweet weekend event. Carry on!
If you want to check out some scenes from the OIB party take a look here courtesy of David Smith and Stephen Krauchik
Dodd Q Poll
Dodd In Slump In Connecticut Reelection Bid, Quinnipiac University Connecticut Poll Finds; Obama Approval Down 8 Points
Connecticut Sen. Christopher Dodd trails former U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons, a likely Republican challenger 48 – 39 percent in the 2010 Senate race, but he is inching up in his job approval to a negative 42 – 52 percent approval rating, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.
The matchup compares to a 45 – 39 percent Simmons lead in a May 27 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.
In this latest survey, Simmons leads 87 – 7 percent among Republicans and 56 – 27 percent among independent voters, while Sen. Dodd takes Democrats 74 – 16 percent. The incumbent has gained among Democrats, but lost independent support since May 27.
Dodd’s negative 42 – 52 percent approval compares to 38 – 53 percent May 27 and this was up from a negative 33 – 58 percent April 2.
Simmons dominates a Republican primary matchup with 42 percent, while no other Republican tops 5 percent, with 45 percent undecided.
Dodd leads businessman Merrick Alpert 52 – 18 percent in a Democratic primary.
“Sen. Christopher Dodd is rebuilding his approval rating, but he is still in negative territory. He has moved the needle from 25 points down April 2 to 10 points down today. He still is losing to Rob Simmons,” said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz, PhD.
“Sen. Dodd’s numbers among Democrats are back to where they used to be with over 70 percent of Democrats approving of his job performance and backing his reelection bid. Perhaps Dodd’s visibility in helping with President Barack Obama’s agenda has brought some wavering Democrats home. But he still is struggling with Independents, who will be harder to win back than his own partisans.”
Looking at Dodd’s characteristics, Connecticut voters say:
55 – 35 percent that he is not honest and trustworthy;
62 – 32 percent that he has strong leadership qualities;
49 – 45 percent that he does not share their views on issues important to them.
“Dodd’s most glaring weakness continues to be that a majority of voters say he is not honest and trustworthy. This is not something that will be easy for Dodd to reverse. Another problem for Dodd is that the bad economy has put voters in a grumpy mood. Consequently, voters have little patience for politician’s missteps,” Schwartz said.
Connecticut voters approve 63 – 32 percent of the job President Barack Obama is doing, down from 71 – 22 percent in April 2 and May 27 Quinnipiac University polls. Obama gets a 93 – 6 percent approval from Democrats and a 61 – 31 percent thumbs up from independent voters. Republicans disapprove 75 – 19 percent, compared to 57 – 33 percent May 27.
Voters approve 57 – 38 percent of the way Obama is handling the economy and 54 percent say his policies will help the economy in the future.
Obama’s financial policies will help them personally, 35 percent of voters say, while 30 percent say his policies will hurt them and 31 percent say they won’t make a difference.
Fully 56 percent of Connecticut voters say they are worse off financially than they were a year ago and only 27 percent expect things to get better in the next 12 months, with 16 percent who expect things to get worse and 54 percent who expect no change.
The current economic situation is causing stress in their life, 57 percent say and 33 percent of that group say it’s causing serious stress.
“Can President Obama help Dodd? The President is popular in Connecticut, but his numbers are down here, as we have seen in recent Quinnipiac University polls in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Ohio. Moreover, 71 percent say that the President actively campaigning for Dodd won’t make a difference in their vote,” Schwartz said.
From July 16 – 20, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,499 Connecticut registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points. The survey includes 612 Democrats with a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points and 384 Republicans with a margin of error of +/- 5 percentage points.
News release from Mayor Finch
Mayor Finch Launches Mayor’s Conservation Corps
Young adults will canvass city neighborhoods to educate residents about recycling, stormwater management and weatherization programs
Mayor Bill Finch today launched the Mayor’s Conservation Corps, a cadre of young adults who will begin canvassing city neighborhoods raising awareness and distributing information to residents about recycling, stormwater management and weatherization programs.
“This program will help raise awareness in our neighborhoods about the benefits of conserving energy by taking advantage of weatherization programs, increasing recycling rates and educating homeowners about the benefits of diverting stormwater runoff to help reduce the load on the city’s sewer system,” said Mayor Finch. “In addition, the participants in this program will be gaining valuable job skills which will help them compete in the new “green” economy.” Funding for the program will come from energy conservation and community development block grants funds.
“We’re pleased to see a city such as Bridgeport take a multidisciplinary approach to confronting the challenge of climate change,” said Jason Turgeon, environmental scientist in the Energy & Climate unit of EPA-Region 1 in Boston , who attended the event on behalf of Acting EPA Regional Administrator, Ira Leighton. “Mayor Finch’s vision for this program is a perfect example of what we [EPA] had envisioned for the use of stimulus funding – helping to create “green jobs” that can’t be shipped offshore and providing training in a growing field.”
The Mayor received an energy audit of his home during the event, and the Conservation Corps trainees observed the testing. Energy audits are available through the Home Energy Solutions Program – a residential weatherization program funded by the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund and administered by the United Illuminating Co.
The Mayor’s Conservation Corps is part of Mayor Finch’s B-Green 2020 Sustainability Initiative, an effort aimed to help the City of Bridgeport lower its carbon footprint by, among other things, reducing energy costs in both city buildings and private homes, increasing recycling rates and reducing stormwater runoff.
The Mayor’s Conservation Corps training was conducted in conjunction with the Workplace, Inc., as part of their Work & Earn program. The canvassers will travel in teams of two and will be dressed in white polo shirts with the city logo and carry identification which shows they are part of the Mayor’s Conservation Corps.
The teams will canvass neighborhoods throughout the city during the next eight weeks asking residents to complete a one-page questionnaire to gauge their interest in obtaining a free (or reduced price) energy audit, purchasing rain barrels, obtaining recycling bins or more information on energy conservation and weatherization. A project leader will work with various city departments to fulfill residents’ needs and/or make the proper referrals to outside agencies or vendors to fulfill requests.
“Our goal is to increase recycling rates in areas of the city where it currently is lagging behind and raise the awareness of the benefit of conserving energy and increase the number of households that apply for free or reduced price energy audits,” said Mayor Finch.
Also joining the Mayor at the press conference were representatives of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment, United Illuminating and the Energy Conservation Management Board. Also on hand to support the Mayor’s effort were City Council members Susan Brannelly, D-130, Leticia Colon, D-131 and Richard Paoletto Jr., D-138.
Citizens Campaign for the Environment worked closely with the program interviewing potential canvassers and providing one week of training on how to canvass.
“We’re proud to be part of this historic effort,” said Emmett Pepper, state program director for the organization. “The fight against global climate change is being fought here in Bridgeport in the only way it really can be: one person at a time.”
“The United Illuminating Company is excited to be part of Mayor Finch’s B-Green initiative and Youth Canvassing Project for the City of Bridgeport. Through the UI Helps and Home Energy Solutions programs funded by The Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund and administered by UI, we hope to make a big difference in the way residents live by reducing their energy use and costs. The results of these efforts will not only have a local impact but a global impact as well.”
“One of the goals of the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund is to educate people on using energy efficiently. With this program, Bridgeport has taken a leading role in the state in helping spread this message,” said Jeffrey Gaudiosi, chairperson of the Energy Conservation Management Board.